Read Part 2 of the seriesWhich country comes foremost in US foreign policy, the United States or Israel? Sometimes it's hard to tell. The Israeli-centric approach to US Middle East foreign policy, which is unfair to the Palestinians and dangerous to a United States dependent on foreign oil, will not change in an Obama Administration.
Which office is Obama running for?
I want you to know that today I'll be speaking from my heart and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good Friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that they bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow, and forever.
... I was drawn to the belief that you could sustain a spiritual, emotional and cultural identity. And I deeply understood the Zionist idea – that there is always a homeland at the center of our story. ... We know the establishment of Israel was just and necessary, rooted in centuries of struggle and decades of patient work. But 60 years later, we know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield, and as president I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security....Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security. ... Let me be clear. Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper – but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.1
Great speech...for a candidate for Prime Minister of Israel.
Later in the summer Robert Fisk, renowned British journalist who has covered the Middle East for over 20 years, said: But hasn't anyone realised that Obama has chosen for his advisers two if the most lamentable failures of US Middle East policy making? There, yet again, is Dennis Ross, a former prominent staff member of AIPAC, the most powerful Israeli lobby in Washington -- yup, the very same AIPAC to which Obama grovelled last month – and the man who failed to make the Oslo agreement work. And there is Madeleine Albright who, as US ambassador the the UN, said that the price of half a million dead children under sanctions in Iraq was “worth it”, and who later announced that Israel was “under siege”. This must be the only time – ever – that a US politician thought Palestinian tanks were on the streets of Tel Aviv.2
Understand that Zionism is a political philosophy and is not the same as Judaism, which is a religion. One does not have to be Jewish to be a Zionist. In fact, Christian Zionists are prominent as supporters of and elected officials from the Republican Party.3 Some Christian Zionists, particularly the Dispensationalists,--the late Rev. Jerry Falwell was one--want Israel to claim all of Palestine because they believe that this is a necessary precursor to the Second Coming of Christ.4 However, these Christian Zionists also believe that the Jews and all other non-Christians will be condemned on Judgment Day. So they don't have any particular love for the Jewish people.
Jewish Zionism stems from the anti-Semitism Jews have faced in Europe and elsewhere. Jewish Zionists see Israel as the one place Jews can be safe.5 But not all Jews are Zionists, and in fact, Zionism is actually considered by many Jews to be a heresy.6 So being Anti-Zionist does not mean one is Anti-Semitic.
There are two kinds of Holocaust deniers. There are the fools and propagandists, like white supremacists and Iran's President Ahmadinejad who claim it never happened or that far fewer Jews were killed than the history books say. There is certainly more than enough documentation of the atrocities to prove these fools wrong.
But there is a second, less publicized but more pernicious, form of Holocaust denial. One that many of us are guilty of. It's the denial that overemphasizes the tragedy of the Jews and fails to comprehend the full scope of Hitler's evil. While the Nazis made the Jews the scapegoats for Germany's economic problems post WWI, Hitler also persecuted Slavs, Roma (Gypsies), trade unionists, Communists, homosexuals, who were marked with a pink triangle as Jews were marked with a yellow Star of David, and the disabled. He also thought blacks were subhuman, and while there were not many blacks in Europe, Rommel "The Desert Fox" operated in North Africa, as the Nazis desperately searched for oil with which to fuel their war machine, and fascist ally Italy held Ethiopia as a colony.